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Home Made Frettless

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Tin Dog, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Tin Dog

    Tin Dog

    Dec 9, 2011
    Melb, Aust.
    Here is a frettless bass that i built. The neck is a Warmoth, Wenge with an ebony finger board, the body is Iron Bark, an Australian native timber that is heavy and hard as Iron, (hence the name i guess).
    The bass is fitted with a Nordstrand MM4.2 magnetic pickup and a Hipshot Piezo bridge. Both of these pickups run into a John East active preamp with a fader to mix the mag and piezo pickups. There is seperate volume, treble, bass, and mid with a stacked cut and boost. With John's help in understanding a problem i installed an attenuator to lower the signal from the piezo. This gave a balanced mix between the pickups.
    Without blowing smoke up my own arse, this bass sounds awsome.
    I chose the Music Man style pick up because i play a music man and love that fat punchy sound and wondered what it would be like on a frettless.
    I was hoping that the piezo might get me close to a DB sound. It does and doesn't. It is a very bright pickup and pushes all the attack from your fingers. However, there is so much bottom end, my studio monitors have trouble coping, and my 15" bin just farts when too loud. It can get DB sounds when you roll the top end off.
    This is a great bass for sliding harmonics. The sustain from these heavy timbers is great. If I put down the frettless and play my Fender P bass, it feels like it is made out of Balsa wood. The frettless is heavy but not unreasonable.
    The whole thing was an experiment and i'm more than happy with the results.
    Parts have cost me about $1500-$1600. Aust.
    Labour time...???? I have no idea.

    Regards, Col.

    Attached Files:

  2. aronnes71


    Jan 4, 2010
    Alta, Norway
    Nice bass. Can you post pictures of the neck?
    Sound samples?

  3. Nice work TinDog. I assume you're an Aussie. I'm in Sydney. I'm working on a couple of fretlesses too. Where did you get your Ironbark from?
  4. Tin Dog

    Tin Dog

    Dec 9, 2011
    Melb, Aust.
    Pics of neck to come.
    Sound samples to come.
    I got my iron bark from a timberyard near Warburton in Vic, called Bowerbird. They specialise in reclaimed timbers. Bowerbird Saved Timbers : About Us
    Its not easy to find a timber yard that is sympathetic to guitar builders.

  5. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham

    Dec 19, 2005
  6. I've dealt with Matthews Timber at StMarys NSW and found them helpful. They are not a boutique wood supplier and their stock is in construction sizes, however they happy to help out and they have a lot of great native timbers.
  7. Tin Dog

    Tin Dog

    Dec 9, 2011
    Melb, Aust.
    Thanks Dave and rev, I didn't know about ANZLF, but will check it out if i ever build another bass.


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